You understand how content marketing can be beneficial to your business, so you write a blog post that you are confident will go viral. So, how do you go about to choose blog topics for effective content marketing?
As a content marketer, there will be times when you experience the overconfidence effect wherein you overestimate not only your expertise in the industry but also your ability to forecast the performance of a specific content. When you succumb to this bias, you will tend to depend more on your intuition rather than accurate data when thinking of fresh blog ideas.
Of course, it is normal for you to have a bias towards your own ideas. Because you like your idea, you will tend to assume that your target readers will also be interested in it. However, this isn’t always the case.
Hence, you need to learn how to set aside your own personal preferences and start to allow your readers’ interests and behaviors drive the decision-making process involved in choosing a blog topic. Otherwise, there is a chance that you are publishing irrelevant content that your audience does not care about.
So how do you address this issue? The most practical thing to do is to analyze data from your audience before brainstorming for topics in order to come up with relevant and interesting content. Below are some of the most effective data-driven strategies that you can implement to be able to choose a blog topic for effective content marketing:
Analyze existing data and find out what is already working
Among the most accessible sources of data are your own metrics and existing data. However, you need to tag all your blog posts first in order to categorize them and easily evaluate the performance of each topic using analysis tools.
There are several metrics that you can choose to track such as the number of page views, time spent on a certain page, leads generated through the content, and the number of subscribers added. With this, it is important to have a clear business objective in mind before creating and publishing your blog post so you will know which metric should be monitored.
Additionally, you have to be mindful of how many articles you post about certain topics of interest because you would want to make sure that you are serving your target readers’ true preferences and do not disregard potentially valuable topics.
For example, your website’s blog posts which discuss “sales prospecting strategies” and “content marketing” generate equal amounts of traffic for a specific period. At first glance, you may assume that your readers love these two topics equally. However, you should look deeper into the data to find out if this is actually true.
What if within that timeframe, you posted about content marketing twice as often as you post about sales prospecting strategies? This means developing 20 content marketing blog posts generates the same amount of traffic that only 10 sales prospecting articles can produce. Therefore, your sales prospecting articles are twice more effective compared to your content marketing blog posts.
So in this scenario, how should you adjust to get the most out of your blog?
You can reduce the number of content marketing posts that you create and write more about sales prospecting. In this way, you are actually serving your readers’ interest better and will most likely produce greater amounts of traffic with lesser content.
Find out what works well for your industry rivals
There is a pretty high chance that you and your industry rivals have a very similar target market. Hence, their viral content could also be one of your most popular blog posts.
If you want to know the most shared blog posts of your competitors, you can use tools such as BuzzSumo and other tools for analysis. Through these tools, you will know if they are blogging about topics that would be of interest to your target readers.
By discovering what works well for your industry rivals and upon knowing their top performing blog posts, you can evaluate how you can improve and choose blog topics for effective content marketing. Although you can cover similar topics as them, you have to offer your unique insights and perspectives to your readers.
Know the hot topics or questions that your audience is interested in
By reading your target readers’ online conversations, you will be able to know the topics that they are most interested in and even provide answers to common questions that they may have. You can join industry-related forums and websites where people can ask questions such as Quora to know about the hot topics among your target audience.
You can simply search for a topic on these websites and you’ll find tons of relevant questions. The number of questions can be overwhelming, but it is recommended that you write about the ones which many people are interested in.
Conduct a simple survey of your existing subscribers
There is no better way to know your target audience’s interests and preferences than conducting a simple survey of your existing readers or subscribers.
However, the thing about surveys is that not all people will be willing to spend their time to provide feedback. With this, it would be much better if you offer some form of incentives to those who will answer your questionnaire. If you can’t afford to give everyone a reward, you can at least offer them the chance to win a prize in order to encourage feedback. Trust me, you will see a greater level of participation when you incentivize your subscribers. And, with this amount of data and information, you can eventually choose blog topics for effective content marketing.
Collaborate with sales department to know the common pain points
It is the job of the sales department to connect with your target market every day. Therefore, they have a strong grasp of the actual pain points of your prospects.
By knowing the most pressing issues that your potential customers encounter, you will be able to gain insights on what to blog about. You could hold a monthly meeting with the sales and be open for content recommendations that you could integrate with your content marketing strategy.
Choosing a blog topic is one of the trickiest parts in creating content that works. Regardless of how well you write, your blog post won’t make an impact if it isn’t something that interests your target audience. By following these data-driven techniques, you will be able to effectively choose blog topics for effective content marketing